Understanding a career in careers

We have just published a new paper about the careers profession.

Neary, S., Marriott, J. & Hooley, T. (2014). Understanding a ‘career in careers’: Learning from an analysis of current job and person specifications. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.

It is based on an analysis of job specifications and explores what the labour market in careers is like at the moment. Key findings include:

  • It was possible to identify six levels of vacancies in the career development sector: entry level; practitioner; advanced practitioner; manager and senior manager; and research and technical support.
  • There were careers vacancies in every UK nation and in every English region. Nearly half of the vacancies were located in London and the South East.
  • Over three-quarters of the job opportunities for the career development workforce were located within careers companies and the education sector.
  • Just less than three quarters of the vacancies were full time positions.
  • A clear majority of vacancies (69%) were permanent positions.
  • Three-quarters of vacancies specified a careers qualification. Many job and person specifications either did not specify the level of the qualification or suggested diverse careers qualifications at different levels. A minority of vacancies did not require any qualifications and a small number did not require any specific careers qualifications.
  • Job and person specifications set out a wide range of duties for careers workers. The most common were providing one to one career information, advice and guidance and organising and delivering group sessions.
  • The behaviour, knowledge and skills most likely to be specified were interpersonal skills, the use of ICT and electronic systems (including CRM systems) and the ability to manage paperwork and work to targets.
  • Salaries varied from £13,400 to £65,000 although the overwhelming majority of those that specified a salary were between £15,001- £35,000. Salary varied according to the level of the job, the sector it was based in and the qualifications that were required.
  • The analysis revealed 103 different job titles. This is a significant increase on the 2009 mapping by LLUK which identified 43 job roles. Careers adviser/advisor was the job title most commonly cited.
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